The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I have the opportunity to adopt a 25 year old Appaloosa gelding. He is sane, sound (a bit of arthritis in his knees, but am told it doesn't slow him down much), and experienced. He was used in a therapeutic riding program, shown at the State Fair and placed, is registered, and is an easy keeper. He is still lightly ridden, and I am told he needs a bit of bute only if he is ridden hard.

I will admit that fear is a part of why I haven't ridden in awhile--I had several small accidents on my horse Patches which have only contributed to my fear. My thought is this Appaloosa could help me gain more confidence riding horses again, since he has so much he could teach me.

Basically, his owner is offering to give him to me, due to family circumstances (his owner is a relative of mine, so I trust her completely). My dad and I are trying to decide if we should open our home, err pastures, to this Appy. All advice and opinions are appreciated. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
I took on an oldie a couple of months ago. Different situation as he was in a paddock with people doing their best to look after him without having any knowledge about how to do so, so obviously I had to fork out a bit in the beginning to get him wormed, vaccinated, feet done, etc etc.

But, I think where I was originally headed was to say if you know he really will boost your confidence again he could be a great asset. Kody (my old boy) will be the horse I teach my partner to ride on as he is so laid back, very much a been there, done that kinda horse. Chances are that this appy could be the same.

However, you do have to weigh up the extras that come along with owning an older horse. If he has arthritis you're probably going to want him on a joint supplement as well as some variety of "senior" feed. He may need his teeth done, depending of course on whether they've been done recently. Basically, there is a whole host of things that can sneak up on you when you have an older horse.

But again I say, If you are prepared for all the 'extras' then I say go for it, especially if he could turn out to be what you need to get you back in to the swing of things
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,825 Posts
To me it sounds like the perfect horse for what you need! Do not let his advanced age scare you.

If he gives you a year of confidence building he will have done something good, right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
Adopting and older horse can be very rewarding especially if you are needing to build confidence. An older dead broke horse can also become your best friend very quickly. My only warning is that he is older...you never know when he may pass on from this world.

Past that he sounds wonderful. Friend had an old gelding with an arthritic shoulder who would need some bute after a hard ride. Was a wonderful horse. Sold him to a guy as a kids pony on the condition that if he needed to sell him they would contact her first. The day came when the guy had to sell and so my friend was contacted and now cooper is living at a new home once again as a kids pony. He will be there till he dies lol the new lady is in love with him.

Point of my entire story....older horses can be wonderful. So I say go for it and build your confidence!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,166 Posts
Chari, having been in your position several years ago, that Appy seems to be just what you need to start riding and getting your confidence back. I would suggest having someone with you when you start riding again to give you a little more encouragement but if the problem is the horse's age, I don't see it as a problem at all. What I do like, for you especially, is that he was a therapeutic horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all so much for the input! Right now I am leaning towards going ahead with the adoption of the Appy (and perhaps selling Patches)...I will keep you all posted. Any more information on older horses or anything that you might think I may find useful would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So I am going to try to go out and see the Appy sometime soon here. I've been told he is a 'saint' with beginning riders, and can be comfortable ridden for about 4 hours without his arthritis bothering him. I was sent some pictures of him (I'll see if I can't post them here), and I would never have guessed he is 25 years old--he looks more around 12!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
I developed a fear of riding some time ago, but it was completely alleviated with the help of a 24 yo quarter horse cross mare I took lessons on for a few months. She was such a good teacher.

These older horses can indeed be saints, I think this sounds like it might be a good option for you right now. :) They can develop some issues and sadly can go downhill rather fast, but as an above poster stated, a year or so of helping you regain your confidence and being a great old friend will be more than worth the heartache. Who knows, he may even continue into his thirties. A boarder's mare was 36 when she went, and was a machine on the trail, omg. Up until the week before she decided she wanted to pass. Nothing could slow her down.

Looking forward to piccies. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have it all set up to go visit the Appy, named "Kubie" on April 10. Here are a few pictures his owner shared with me. Maybe it is just me, but I think he looks really good for his age--I wouldn't have guessed he is as old as he really is. I am so excited to go meet him! :D
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
He does look good. A little swayed, gray, and maybe a little ribby, but good.

I own a 30 yr old right now. Besides a "joint" supplement (basically just to take the edge of pain off in the winter) she has very little extra care. She is probably more arthritic than this guy and due to some pretty major scarring from an accident last spring isn't rideable at all.

In terms of "extra" expenses you need to keep an eye on.
- pain relief: light bute, maybe some sort of pain relief supplement (that's what I'm using, although they call it a joint supplement)
- 2x yearly teeth check ups: important to catch anything right away due to the difficulty of putting weight on older horses
- better quality hay, possibly an alfalfa mix (check for Cushings and other metabolic issues first)
- initial vet work up: If I were to get an older horse I would probably do some initial testing for Cushings. If you know they have a slight issue a lot of times you can prevent it from getting worse by simple and cheap management. It's when you let it get really bad that it gets expensive to fix.
-Senior feed: This isn't a for sure thing. A lot of senior horses don't need it and it can aggravate any metabolic issues. Usually they need it when their teeth just can't do the job anymore. My mare isn't on anything other than hay and a ration balancer... the problem is keeping her from getting too fat!

Besides the aspect of him being calm and an ex-theraputic riding horse in my experience older horses are great because they usually really appreciate ANY attention you give them. I've had a 27 yo, 24 yo, and now my 30 yo and all of them just loved any sort of petting, grooming, etc. I'd go out in the pasture and they'd come ambling up just to hang out. A lot of them are just really peaceful (in my experience) and relaxing to be around. I really like older horses. I might even look into getting another oldie when Flame passes on to keep Soda company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Lots of great advice about taking in an older horse, but I haven't read where anyone suggested that you ride him yourself. Maybe that's just understood, but regardless of his age and what anyone tells you about his past, you need to have more assurance. You should arrive unannounced or early in case the owner has any tricks up her sleeve. I'm being pessimistic here, not trying to knock her or your relationship with her. She may have learned a few tricks over the years to keep the horse happy and energetic that to her are just part of a regular day, but to you would not be.

Lots of horses at 25 are still great to go, happy and looking to please. I hope it works out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for all of the advice and information!

What sort of tests would a horse need to determine if they have Cushing's Disease? For your dental check-ups, do you use your veterinarian or a specialized equine dentist? I have always used my veterinarian to care for my horses' teeth--do senior horses need a specialist?

I'm planning on visiting, and hopefully riding, this Appy on April 10. I believe his owner's parents are currently caring for him. As I said earlier, this Appy belongs to a close family member, so I highly doubt any tricks will be pulled. Nevertheless, we almost always arrive early to our destination...hopefully I will get to spend lots of time with him and find out more about him from his owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
If your vet is good at teeth and you trust them, stick with them. He might not need anything done, but it's good to keep on top of it with the older guys.

I can't remember the exact name of the test for Cushings but your vet should know what you mean. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he does have some mild form of pituitary disfunction (true Cushings) it is very common in older horses, but it isn't a death sentence by any means. Especially if you are forewarned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
On Saturday I got to meet the Appy! He is an amazing horse--friendly, trusting, smart, energetic, obedient, and fun. I got to ride him for 45 minutes, and he was great--very responsive to leg and rein cues (When I was riding him I accidentally gave a wrong leg cue, and he started doing a dressage half-pass thing. Pretty neat!), and seemed to actually LIKE being ridden. I learned that he has been ridden by hundreds of people in his life, placed in English Saddle seat, barrel racing, and reining when he was a young buck. Most importantly, he felt safe and relaxing to ride...I wasn't afraid to get on him. It has been awhile since that happened!

He is on a Glucosamine/MSM supplement now from Valley Vet and eating senior feed. I got to watch him get his spring shots and a womer, and I loaded him into a trailer by myself. Nothing phases him!

As of now, I am planning on going ahead and bringing this beautiful appy boy home. Thanks again for all of the advice everyone, and I will keep you posted! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mulefeather

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,267 Posts
Gratz...those older horses have a lot to offer IMO. I brought a 25 year old horse home for my daughter on thursday. My daughter took her on their first trail ride together tonight and she did fantastic. She didn't spook at a anything. She hasn't been rode in at least two years (except for the couple of times my daughter rode her around the barn). Those old horses have years of experience to offer us, we should thankful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Sounds like a good idea for where you're at. I'd recommend Legend and/or Adequan to help with his arthritis, but definitely talk to your vet about it first. A thorough PPE is a must.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I'm so happy you're going to take the appy. I got a 21 yr old saddlebred 7 yrs ago. She was my very first horse...my dream come true, and she was so awesome. Bomb proof! She was in pretty bad shape when we got her and I wouldn't have picked a saddlebred, but when I saw her, I couldn't let her where she was. Anyway, she was great with beginners and experienced riders! She really taught me a lot! Have fun!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top